Housing Update

The NAACP San Diego Branch understands what a critical issue housing is. We will be having a meeting at 6pm on Friday, June 26th, to give you an update on our efforts, especially our lawsuit against the San Diego Housing Commission. We will also share ways that you can get involved in both solving San Diego’s housing crisis and ensure that discriminatory housing practices end.

Please join us at sandiegonaacp.org/housing-zoom at 6pm on Friday, June 26th.

Zoom Requirements

For the safety of all attendees, we require the following from participants in our meetings:

  • Have a (paid or) free Zoom account and log in to it before attending
  • Use a current recognizable photo of their face as the profile picture
  • Use their legal first and last names on their profile

For help on setting up zoom, please see sandiegonaacp.org/zoom-setup

Our 2020 ACT-SO Olympians

We couldn’t be prouder of our 2020 ACT-SO Olympians!

This has been a very difficult year for so many reasons. Let us stop, though, and look at the accomplishments of our ACT-SO Olympians in the midst of it all!

This year, we have three Gold winners; Eryn (Painting and Filmmaking), Loba (Classical Musical Instrument) and Sherwin (Contemporary Musical Instrument.) They will go on to compete in the national ACT-SO competition in July over Zoom.

Sherwin also took home a Silver (Written Poetry) and a Bronze (Classical Musical Instrument), and Eryn earned a Silver (Contemporary Vocal) as well.

Joshua scored a double Silver (Photography and Computer Science), and Tracee netted a Bronze (Contemporary Vocal.)

Finally, Precious earned high praise from our judges for her written poetry, even if she is not quite old enough yet to formally compete.

Please give these kids a (virtual) round of applause. Also, please consider donating to ACT-SO or volunteering with our ACT-SO Committee, so that we can attract, enrich, celebrate and reward even more students next ACT-SO season!

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Regional Law Enforcement De-Escalation Philosophy

June 9, 2020

The San Diego County Police Chiefs and Sheriffs Association has released their de-escalation “philosophy,” on which they claim to have been working for a year.  According to CBS-8, that philosophy is:

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We find this document to be profoundly tone-deaf and utterly inadequate. This document seems to have been prepared inside an echo chamber of highly paid law enforcement officials.  Where was the input from the taxpaying public?

All ages and ethnicities are united in outrage over police violence, appearing daily in the streets.  They will continue to be united in outrage until we see policies of transparency, accountability and a true spirit of public service.

Where in this document is it affirmed that the purpose of law enforcement is to protect and to serve, not to dominate and control?

Where in this document are the policies and procedures needed to reign in the abuse, violence, and death that so regularly occur in citizen interactions with law enforcement?

The San Diego County Police Chiefs and Sheriffs Association needs to:

  • Apologize for and withdraw this completely inadequate document that does nothing to restore the public’s trust and faith.  
  • Immediately sit down with the individuals and communities who have suffered trauma and abuse, and hear what they have to say.
  • Produce detailed, meaningful and practical policies and procedures, with transparent reporting and full accountability.  
  • Move swiftly and firmly to build this new spirit of service and protection into their departments.  
  • Remove officers who will not change, rather than allow them to corrupt another generation of recruits with their aggression and violence.

Only then will citizens trust them again.  

Francine Maxwell, President
NAACP San Diego Branch

The San Diego Housing Commission’s False Claims of Solidarity

June 12, 2020

With almost surgical precision, the San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC) has implemented policies and practices that perpetuate racial segregation and discriminate against communities of color. SDHC is a prime example of government-sponsored discrimination, racism, and segregation. Yet, SDHC CEO Rick Gentry just issued a statement purporting to stand with communities of color in grieving the loss of George Floyd.

SDHC purports to stand with African Americans and communities of color, yet actively enforces discriminatory policies and practices like steering, that have been unlawful since the civil rights movement. 

“It’s abhorrent and extremely opportunistic for SDHC CEO Rick Gentry to release a solidarity statement at a time when we are suing SDHC for perpetuating segregation and racial inequality. Gentry’s claim that SDHC provides families ‘opportunities to choose to live in any areas of the City that make the most sense for their families’ is contradicted by SDHC’s own data. Gentry and SDHC have already decided where families should live – in segregated neighborhoods,” says Rafael Bautista, San Diego Tenants Union.

A pending lawsuit against SDHC filed by NAACP San Diego Branch and San Diego Tenant Union uses SDHC’s own data, policies, and statements to illustrate how SDHC has intentionally discriminates against communities of color and perpetuates racial segregation in violation of federal law, state law, and its own contractual obligations. The lawsuit aims to correct San Diego’s largest subsidized housing program which serves 60,000 low-income women, men, and children.

“An unequal society fosters inequality. SDHC and other governmental entities have unlawfully discriminated against African Americans with impunity for decades. Not only is it unacceptable, it is unlawful. We have sued SDHC for intentionally perpetuating segregated housing patterns. Despite any statements put out by SDHC, SDHC’s own data shows SDHC’s policies and practices disproportionately harm African Americans who are evicted and incarcerated at a far higher rate than white individuals,” says Francine Maxwell, NAACP San Diego. 

After SDTU and NAACP San Diego Branch sued SDHC in March 2019, SDHC claimed that Rick Gentry’s repeated use of “social engineering” to derisively describe an Obama-era desegregation policy could not be used in the lawsuit to show discriminatory intent. SDHC claimed that its CEO’s statements were protected speech. SDHC, which is a government entity, claimed that if the lawsuit was allowed to move forward, it would “chill” SDHC’s “valid exercise of the constitutional rights of freedom of speech and petition.” 

SDHC also alleged that the lawsuit was not brought “solely in the public interest” because the relief the lawsuit seeks – to enjoin SDHC from perpetuating racial segregation – will not benefit the public but will benefit only non-white Section 8 recipients. SDHC’s position reflected a disturbing misunderstanding of how segregation adversely impacts all members of the community, not just racial minorities. SDHC’s position also reflected a flagrant misunderstanding of how its own program works since the relief sought will benefit all voucher recipients, not only racial minorities.

The state court rejected SDHC’s free speech arguments, finding that the lawsuit is brought in the public interest, and the statute protecting free speech does not apply to SDHC’s actions. The Court gave NAACP San Diego and SDTU the opportunity to include additional facts (data) regarding how SDHC’s policy disproportionately adversely impacts racial minorities. NAACP San Diego immediately requested the data from SDHC, but SDHC is still refusing to provide its data. NAACP San Diego Branch and SDTU filed a second lawsuit against SDHC to obtain the data. That lawsuit is also pending. 

The case is currently pending in federal court. SDHC removed the case to federal court in January 2020. This was procedurally late (over six months late) and a veiled attempt to re-litigate the same issues that were already decided by the state court judge on November 1, 2019. SDHC is again trying to exclude as evidence statements SDHC’s CEO Richard Gentry’s made referring to an Obama-era desegregation policy as “social engineering.” SDHC is trying to get a second bite at the apple, which delays the case. NAACP San Diego and SDTU filed a motion to remand, which is pending. 

Rafael Bautista
Francine Maxwell, President
NAACP San Diego Branch
Rafael Bautista
San Diego Tenant Union
P.O. Box 152086 • San Diego, CA • 92195
619-431-1633 • [email protected]
[email protected] • 619-709-0942
Founded in 1919 after a visit by renowned author, activist and NAACP co-founder, W.E.B. DuBois, the NAACP San Diego Branch is celebrating a century of standing sentry over the civil rights of the people of San Diego. If you need more information about the NAACP San Diego Branch, please visit sandiegonaacp.org/presskitThe San Diego Tenants Union is committed to fight displacement and gentrification. We organize tenants to fight against rent hikes and fight for improvements. join us!

New Member Orientation

The tragic death of Mr Floyd has rightly put a spotlight on the ongoing oppression of African-Americans in our country. We have seen an unprecedented outpouring of support for our community in the streets, and that outpouring has been mirrored by you, our new members.

We thank you all for showing your support by joining us!

We would like to give you an introduction to the Association, the Branch, our work, and how you can get involved, as well as answer any questions you may have.

President Maxwell will present a very lively and interesting program.

To reserve your place, please RSVP:

Then, please join us at sandiegonaacp.org/orientation-zoom at 6pm on Wednesday, June 24th.

Zoom Requirements

For the safety of all attendees, we require the following from participants in our meetings:

  • Have a (paid or) free Zoom account and log in to it before attending
  • Use a current recognizable photo of their face as the profile picture
  • Use their legal first and last names on their profile

For help on setting up zoom, please see sandiegonaacp.org/zoom-setup

Suitcases Delivered for Foster Kids

This past week, we delivered over 50 suitcases to two different organizations that support foster kids!

Some of the suitcases we collected or bought with donations from our membership and community.
President Maxwell and Treasurer Anderson delivering suitcases to the San Diego County Foster Parent Association.
President Maxwell (in her bright red kicks) and Treasurer Anderson delivering suitcases to Walden Family Services.

We are very happy to provide kids under stress with a way to keep their belongings together when they have to move, and so grateful to all the members who made this happen with their compassion and generosity!

COVID-19

We need to keep the vulnerable among us safe during this epidemic. We will be link to reputable and local information from this page.

CDC Advice on Staying Safe:

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San Diego County Information on COVID-19:

Coronavirus Disease 2019

Medical Equipment Donations Organizations or individuals can donate masks, gowns, face shields and more through a partnership with Rady Children’s Foundation and Rock Church. Volunteer opportunities Find ways to volunteer, including health care volunteers. Organizations can list volunteer opportunities. Visit JustServe.

City of San Diego Information on COVID-19:

Coronavirus Information

Protecting the health of all San Diegans is our top priority. The City of San Diego is taking measures in consultation with and at the direction of, County public health officials to help prevent the spread of the Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.

California State Information on COVID-19:

California Coronavirus COVID-19 Response

California is issuing daily coronavirus updates. COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. Check this website for the latest updates and resources.

More Resources

Information for Patients from California Partnership for Access to Treatment

During these uncertain times, we at CPAT want to make sure you have access to all of the latest news and information about COVID-19, a disease caused by a novel strain of coronavirus.

Our partners at Healthcare Ready have pulled together resources for patients during these difficult times. These resources include information on how to access telehealth services if you are on Medicare, as well as mental health resources for managing stress and anxiety, and health preparedness tips. This information and more can be found here. Healthcare Ready has an alert system, be sure to sign up for their updates on their website to continue to receive the latest information on COVID-19 and any updated resources for patients.

In California, we have the California Department of Public Health providing updates on the situation statewide, along with instructions on what you should do if you have symptoms of the virus, why it is critical to practice social distancing, and how the state is responding to the pandemic. For the latest on COVID-19 from a nationwide level, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Check your local city and county websites for the latest on the COVID-19 response in your area.

For those with prescriptions or who have loved with prescription medications, theMedicine Assistance Tool (MAT) is available to help connect you to the resources offered by various biopharmaceutical industry programs, including copay cards and rebates. This tool connects patients, no matter their income level, with over 900 resources that could help them afford the medicines they need and better understand their health care costs.

Mental Health Information

Please seek help from stress and worry! Getting the help you need is not a sign of weakness, it’s a sign that you are determined to do everything you can to get yourself and your loved ones through this pandemic.

Mental Health Crisis Line: 1-888-724-7240
San Diego County COVID-19 Mental Health Webpage

Resource Listing from the San Diego County DA

The DA has made a great list, which you can find here.

Resources from the National Association

Here.

Financial Articles; Unemployment, Small Business Loans, etc

Here.